The Next Hike

Check here every week for details on the next Trekker hike!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Next Hike

The next Saturday Hike will be on 29th August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we had a great day for visiting high viewpoints and decided to head south to Twin Peaks which has a couple of the highest viewpoints on the Trekkers hiking trails.  We found the trail to be in fairly good shape with no more of the tremendous wind damage the trees had suffered not too long ago.  

My photo this time is of a shrub I found growing at the high tide line during our hike along Crescent Bay beach earlier this month. I was surprised to see it in this location as it's very often found forming dense thickets in some of our wetlands.  You may have noticed when driving the main road between Van Anda and Gillies Bay lots of multi-stemed bushes with red stems and not realised this is a relative of the BC flower the native white dogwood.  Also native the Red-osier Dogwood does also have white flowers, but in this species they form tight heads with a large number of quite small white flowers very different in shape to those of its much larger relative. The word osier comes from the name given to kinds of willow in Europe that can be used for basket making.

Red-osier Dogwood - Cornus stolonifera at Crescent Bay beach.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 22nd August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week week we once again had a rainy morning for the start of our hike.  There was not much point in going up to a lunch spot with a great view as visibility was obviously quite poor.  The forecast was good for the afternoon so we hoped for the best and just started off from the meeting place on foot.  The route was mostly in the forest and we made good use of the fine cycle trails that now criss-cross the bluffs overlooking Gillies Bay.  Lunch spot for this hike was the bluff where for the first and only time the hikers were able to watch a very young baby Turkey Vulture wandering around on the grassy knoll above us.

My photo is another one I took on our recent hike along the beach at Crecent Bay when the tide was extra low.  In one of the larger tidepools we saw nine Great Blue Heron that were probably a group of adults and young from some nearby nests. 


Three Great Blue Heron in a big tidepool at Crescent Bay beach.  The one on the right has just caught a fish.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 15th August.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we were unlucky enough to have a rainy day for the hike, although it was a welcome break in the ongoing near drought weather of the past several weeks.  We first drove the short distance to the Gravel Pit located on the side road just up the hill going north from the Community Hall in Gillies Bay.  Walking from there we took the old logging road that goes past the former horse and pony competition ground and then on through the forest on a round-about route that eventually reaches the large and deep mine shaft at the Cap Sheaf claim. We had lunch there and then decided to return by a shorter route that partly followed the creek that flows from the north end of Cap Sheaf Lake. 

My photo this week is of a Treefrog I found in a small roadside pond on the High Road.  I think most of the Treefrogs on Texada are green, but a small percentage have a quite different skin colour.  This what I call the brown skin colour variation,  a brown base with rounded patches of darker brown or black.   The tiny pads on the toes show that it is indeed a true Treefrog.  Such cute little creatures!

  Pacific Treefrog - an individual with the light brown skin colour variation. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Next Hike - from the Community Hall in Gillies Bay

The next hike will be on Saturday, 8th August.
As the Blues Music Festival is being held at the Gillies Bay Ball Park this weekend we will meet at the Community Hall this time.  

Last week we met in Van Anda and drove to the south end of Crescent Bay.  This is reached by turning off the Cresent Bay Road onto Woodhead Rd which is on the right not very far past the Golf Course.  At the end of Woodhead a narrow and uneven gravel road heads downhill to a flat grassy area and a short trail to the beach starts at a gap in the bushes.  This beach access is fully legal and is the only usable public beach access I know of on the Texada coastline between Blubber Bay and Gillies Bay.This long curved beach is quite narrow most of the time, but at this time of the year when the annual Texada Sandcastle competion takes place the low tides are very low indeed and happen at a convenient time for hiking. My photo shows just how extensive the beach becomes and how varied and interesting it is for anyone interested in a variety of things that can be found on beaches like this.  It has lots of tidepools, some small areas with just sand and lots of rocks of all shapes and sizes. It's not the easiest beach to walk on and care has to be taken not to fall as some rocks are slick with algae and wet seaweed.  Look carefully and you will see traces of ancient native fish weirs mainly in the more northern section of the beach. 

The wide expanse of Crescent Bay Beach when the tide is especially low.